Using Yoast SEO to Improve Your Page’s Search Engine Optimization

The SCC website includes the most popular plugin for search engine optimization: Yoast SEO.

This is what the Yoast SEO panel looks like when twirled open (using that little gray triangle in the top-right corner).

The panel below has no Focus Keyword defined yet.

Yoast SEO panel incomplete

Notice that the default SEO Title is too long. This means that the end of the title will get cut off in search results.

Below, I have entered the Focus Keyword I want to optimize the page for: “search engine optimization”. Yoast automatically displays some usage statistics for this key phrase on the page.

Yoast SEO panel - Keyword subpanel

To complete my optimization, I entered a shorter SEO Title, along with a Meta description of less than 156 characters. This is now the text that Google will display in its search results.

Yoast SEO panel complete

If I click on the next tab over, Page Analysis, there are no results yet. I will need to update the page first.

Yoast SEO panel - page analysis incomplete

In the Publish panel, there is no SEO score given yet either. Update or publish the page to get one.

Yoast SEO panel - SEO score gray

I updated my page. Now my SEO score is yellow. The ideal score is green.

Yoast SEO panel - SEO score yellow

Looking at the Page Analysis tab, I notice that it is making recommendations. Fortunately, I have already done these things on my page. However, Yoast does not look at all the additional content blocks I added below the initial text block. If Yoast saw those, this page would probably have a green score for SEO.

Yoast SEO panel - page analysis complete

That’s okay, Google won’t see the difference between my content blocks. This page is well optimized for my key phrase.